On Monday the Knox County Commission will vote on whether to ban handguns in “county parks, natural areas, historic parks, nature trails, campgrounds, forests, greenways, waterways, or other similar public places.”
With the county and city playing musical chairs with their positions, it’s a bit tough to keep straight where you can and cannot legally be terrified. It all began when longtime state House Rep. Frank Nicely, of East Tenn.’s 17th district, sponsored a bill earlier this year making it legal to carry guns in city and county parks that did not expressly prohibit doing so. The bill provided that local governments could opt out by passing an ordinance, essentially shifting the burden of proof from gun rights advocates to gun opponents.
Which is exactly what Commissioner Amy Broyles now intends to do. She’s backed up by the Knox County Parks Advisory Board, as well at least tacitly by County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. Still, gun enthusiast/Commissioner Greg “Lumpy” Lambert will undoubtedly offer an impassioned defense of the current law.
Take a late or long lunch Monday and head to the Main Assembly of the City-County Building, on the corner of Locust and Cumberland, at 2 p.m. for the meeting.